Since most doctor’s offices still rely on the decades-old system of phone calls for healthcare scheduling operations and nurse communication, patients often fail to connect with their physicians’ office. It simply isn’t a convenient process as they have their own busy schedules and are in and out of meetings or errands. On the other end, Doctor’s offices are also impacted by this conventional phone method and compromise their schedulers’ productivity and the physician’s overall business. Recent surveys have stated that doctors’ offices generally miss around 40 percent of procedures due to the challenges associated with phone systems, including phone tag, on hold, and voicemail. This has reinforced the need for efficient online communication and motivated organizations to deploy robust tools in clinical practices. Although chatbots and embedded website chats were designed to help with this problem, they still require the patient to be engaged for the entire time until the task is finished. If the patient is interrupted by errands or meetings, they have to re-engage and start all over. The result is they more than often give up or go somewhere else resulting in loss of revenue as well as give the practice a bad survey.
Enter Instant Access. The Texas-based company specializes in streamlining and optimizing the scheduling operations of physician’s office visits and procedures as well as nurse communication by creating a reliable communication channel between patients and clinical facilities. It provides a robust messaging platform that helps patients to have instant access to their physicians’ office scheduler or nurse.
While conversing with the MD Tech Review’s editorial team, Robert Cloud MD, medical advisor to Instant Access, shares his insights on how the company leverages its expertise and experience to provide an unrivaled text messaging platform to its clients.
Could you give us a brief overview of Instant Access and its inception?
At the core, Instant Access is a HIPAA-compliant standalone secure text-messaging software platform that helps patients access their physicians’ scheduler and nurse directly to schedule their office visits and procedures or get their questions answered. Using HIPAA-compliant text messages to interact serves as an efficient way to communicate with patients as it eliminates phone tag, on hold time, and voicemail that usually accompanies a traditional phone call model. This way, Instant Access grants patients immediate access for scheduling and medical questions and enables schedulers and nurses the ability to handle unlimited simultaneous text messages on the software. Once more the platform is designed to let multiple schedulers and nurses work side by side with ease and efficiency to field the messages that come into the platform.
What spurred the inception of Instant Access was an attempt to solve a common problem experienced by Doctors all over. I personally have often witnessed phone tags impeding my clinic’s operations where phone calls continue to come in and go to voicemail while my scheduler or nurse was engaged with another patient. Once free, the scheduler or nurse returns voicemail, only to find the patient is now busy with errands or meetings.
Instant Access is a HIPAA compliant standalone secure text-messaging software platform that helps patients access their physicians’ scheduler and nurse directly to schedule office visits and procedures as well as speak to a nurse
This scenario goes on and on and nothing ever gets done resulting in frustration by the patient and wasted time by the scheduler or nurse, loss of revenue and patient dissatisfaction. I wanted to solve this problem for my own practice, but figured that almost all physician offices would benefit from a better way to communicate. I set upon a mission to develop a flexible solution that acts upon the convenience of both parties. My wife, Connie, working as my office manager at the time suggested texting might be a solution. This gave birth to the idea of a HIPAA-compliant texting platform connecting patient and doctor’s office.
What are some of the key features that make Instant Access unique?
Instant Access is a future-proof technology that creates a paradigm shift in how healthcare communication is performed. Our HIPAA-compliant software platform is available to the client (physicians’ office) for a fixed monthly subscription—irrespective of the number of doctors they enfold. Schedulers and nurses can handle unlimited HIPAAcompliant text messages simultaneously to schedule an office visit or a procedure while eliminating phone tag, voicemail, increasing productivity and minimizing lost revenue all the while increasing patient satisfaction.
Instant access allows an ongoing text messaging interaction via desktop or iphone or android app until terminated by the patient allowing patients to schedule or ask the nurse a question on their own busy schedule until the task is completed. In one instance, Instant Access assisted a crane operator who was struggling to schedule a visit at his physician’s office. Being unable to attend calls during work, the phone-based system was no reliable option for him as calls from both parties ultimately landed in voicemail. With Instant Access’ text messaging platform, he was able to interact with a scheduler according to his convenience and schedule his appointment with the physicians without any hassles.
Sign up is free and easy for patients. They either navigate to myinstantaccess.com on desktop or download the app on either Iphone or Android. On sign up, patients need to provide an email username, a password of their choosing and basic information. Once logged in, the patient selects their doctor and whether they want to schedule or whether they want to chat with a nurse, they connected directly with their doctor’s scheduler or nurse. Once the patient is done texting and the task completed, the text message is archived and an email is sent to the patient detailing the scheduled appointment. Dedicated to providing exceptional experience to both clients and patients, we’re now integrating with Epic Systems and Athenahealth — those two EMRs account for over 60 % of EMR practices across the country. .
How does the future look for Instant Access?
Having such a novel solution under our sleeve, we’re at the forefront in fueling the paradigm shift towards leveraging HIPAA-compliant text messaging to optimize patient-physician interactions over all other methods. At Instant Access, we are focusing on developing the most robust practical solutions for enhancing the patient to doctor communication paradigm shift to HIPAA-compliant texting. Today, we’re accelerating our marketing operations and pilot projects and strategizing the best initiatives to enhance its use in the medical industry.
From a technical perspective, Instant Access is constantly augmenting its solution’s value proposition to serve its clients better and attract new prospects. With expansion embedded in our corporate DNA, we’re now strategizing a five-year goal where we’ll establish integration with the top five EMR solution providers in the U.S. and onboard a conservative 1000 client physician practices out of the estimated 230000 physician practices in operation in the USA today.